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Resveratrol for Acne Scars: The Most Underrated Skincare Ingredient According to a Dermatologist

March 21, 2024

Resveratrol for acne scars: In this edition of Skincyclopedia, we unveil how resveratrol is a must-have ingredient in your acne skincare routine.

What you will learn:

  • ☐ What are the benefits of resveratrol for acne scars?

  • ☐ How does resveratrol work?

You may have heard about vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serums for acne scars, but did you know that one of the most potent anti-aging ingredients resveratrol also works to lighten hyperpigmentation and stimulate collagen?


Acne sufferers worry about dark spots, uneven skin tone and dull skin, and this is how a cosmeceutical skincare regimen can help. I’m a board-certified dermatologist with published research in top dermatology journals such as the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the International Journal of Dermatology.

Quasi-drugs are the latest buzzword in the field of dermatology and cosmetic science. Many of these are plant derived with pharmaceutical properties and are originally studied in ethnobotany. The modern day scientific study of herbs and plants and how it can impact human health is an emerging field.

Functional dermatology is a holistic approach to skincare that includes the use of plant bioactives. Emerging evidence shows that cosmeceuticals or quasi-drugs play a role in the treatment of skin diseases such as acne, rosacea, sensitive skin and photoaging. 


How Resveratrol Works for Acne Scars:

While resveratrol is best known as an aging skincare active,  the same mechanisms are helpful in treatment and prevention of acne scars.

Resveratrol increases the lifespan of cells by targeting cell senescence, a key contributing factor to cell death and oxidative stress. This is especially pertinent for those with adult acne, as scarring can worsen due to age-related skin changes. 

Overall resevratrol is known to protect DNA, cell parts such as the mitochondria, responsible for cell energy. This directly improves skin’s ability to heal scars. 

The same anti-inflammatory mechanisms by which resveratrol reverses aging is applied to improve acne scar healing

Resveratrol is shown to enhance the lifespan of cells and is perhaps best known for protecting against age-related heart and brain degeneration. Ultimately, it plays a key role in reducing chronic inflammation. 


Resveratrol skincare for acne scars: resveratrol boosts collagen. This is the single ingredient that can help to reduce acne scars by activating collagen production. The Elixir-V serum is formulated with a highly potent  plant source of resveratrol, known as trans-resveratrol from polygonum cuspidatum. 

Does resveratrol lighten acne hyperpigmentation ?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne scars is the commonest type of acne scarring. Using a potent antioxidant like resveratrol “eats up” damaging free radicals that are the cause of oxidative stress. Acne-prone skin tends to have excess oil production, which causes lipid peroxidation, a known risk factor for triggering inflammation. 


Is resveratrol good for acne spots? Does resveratrol treat inflamed acne?

Yes. As it is a non-irritating active, with additional anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it can be used to synergistically treat inflamed acne bumps and pimples. Unlike retinol or retinoids which should not be applied on active acne, resveratrol is suited to calm inflammation. In fact, resveratrol can be combined with other antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid for synergistic, targeted action for acne scar treatment and prevention. 

How long does it take for resveratrol to work for acne scars? 

Cosmeceutical regimens are effective according to skin cycles. Essentially, an average of 27-28 days is required for cell turnover, so that renewed skin cells take the place of old cells that are shed. Adding on an at-home skin device utilising technology such as microdermabrasion and hydrodermabrasion can significantly improve the absorption rate of skincare actives, especially helpful for those with acne scars and would like a gentler treatment option than lasers. Microdermabrasion can enhance transdermal delivery i.e. absorption of skincare active ingredient via the epidermis, accelerating results. 

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